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Tips for online success as a student

School in Bed. Photo by Ellie Thomas

The COVID-19 pandemic has moved many colleges to online learning.  

Online learning often requires a different approach from students. According to an article from the University of Cincinnati, there are several guidelines that help an online student stay on track.


Having a routine sets a specific time to complete tasks and allows a student to create habits quickly and easily. It can help with time management, which is another essential task for a student.  

Some other things to establish in a routine include:

  • Studying for smaller durations of time rather than doing it all in one sitting.
  • Take adequate breaks (that includes sleep).
  • Find the best time to study and plan to do so during those times.  
  • Include a workout and get ready as you normally would for school.


Organization includes a study environment that is free of distractions and has everything a student needs.

Organize everything for your class in a schedule, including assignments and test due dates, and have a way to keep all of these files organized on the computer.


Technology is a huge component of online schooling. In order for a student to be successful, they need to know as much as possible about the programs they are using, which includes the physical technology and the apps and programs they are using. Cuesta provides coaching in programs used by the school, as well as library computers with Microsoft Office and Adobe software.


Communication is a key element offline. Online, it becomes crucial. Online students lose discussion time with other peers and a chance to ask questions in the transition. Chatting with fellow students in the class and asking the teacher questions through chat will give some of that interaction back.

Online schooling and in-person classes both have positives and negatives. Online classes take a lot more planning and motivation for the student but it offers a high level of flexibility.  Currently, it’s helping keep students safe from COVID-19 while allowing them to continue their education.